Low Flying Aircraft

T. M. McNally, Author University of Georgia Press $24.95 (163p) ISBN 978-0-8203-1378-8
``What do you do when you don't know what you want to do anymore?'' asks Orion, a disenchanted photojournalist in ``Peru,'' the first story in this impressive collection, winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction. Many of McNally's characters are young adults searching for meaning in a world that has already left them disillusioned. ``We spend our lives looking for signs--for thin, brief moments of direction,'' observes Ruth in ``The Anonymity of Flight.'' Gradually the reader observes that the characters in the stories are connected--as siblings, childhood friends, ex-lovers. In ``Jet Stream'' Ruth and Betsy are teenagers in Phoenix; in ``The Future of Ruth,'' Ruth is living with Orion. This interrelatedness sometimes frustrates attempts to locate a unifying perspective, and McNally's occasionally intellectualized commentary (``We can only know what we once didn't know'') is distancing. But his prose is lean and powerful, and the brief scenes--strung together with little formal structure--effectively convey the desolation of lost dreams. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
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